Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Market Decline Will Lead To Pension Collapse, USD Devaluation, And NWO - Raymond_Matison
2.Uber’s Nightmare Has Just Started - Stephen_McBride
3.Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - Brad_Gudgeon
4.GDow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Significant Correction Has Started - Clive_Maund
6.British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - Richard_Mills
8.Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - Dan_Amerman
9.Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - Michael Ballanger
10.UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Venezuela’s Hyperinflation Drags On For A Near Record—36 Months - 18th Nov 19
Intellectual Property as the New Guild System - 18th Nov 19
Gold Mining Stocks Q3’ 2019 Fundamentals - 18th Nov 19
The Best Way To Play The Coming Gold Boom - 18th Nov 19
What ECB’s Tiering Means for Gold - 17th Nov 19
DOJ Asked to Examine New Systemic Risk in Gold & Silver Markets - 17th Nov 19
Dow Jones Stock Market Cycle Update and are we there yet? - 17th Nov 19
When the Crude Oil Price Collapses Below $40 What Happens? PART III - 17th Nov 19
If History Repeats, Gold is Headed to $8,000 - 17th Nov 19
All You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency - 17th Nov 19
What happens To The Global Economy If Oil Collapses Below $40 – Part II - 15th Nov 19
America’s Exceptionalism’s Non-intervention Slide to Conquest, Empire - and Socialism - 15th Nov 19
Five Gold Charts to Contemplate as We Prepare for the New Year - 15th Nov 19
Best Gaming CPU Nov 2019 - Budget, Mid and High End PC System Processors - 15th Nov 19
Lend Money Without A Credit Check — Is That Possible? - 15th Nov 19
Gold and Silver Capitulation Time - 14th Nov 19
The Case for a Silver Price Rally - 14th Nov 19
What Happens To The Global Economy If the Oil Price Collapses Below $40 - 14th Nov 19
7 days of Free FX + Crypto Forecasts -- Join in - 14th Nov 19
How to Use Price Cycles and Profit as a Swing Trader – SPX, Bonds, Gold, Nat Gas - 13th Nov 19
Morrisons Throwing Thousands of Bonus More Points at Big Spend Shoppers - JACKPOT! - 13th Nov 19
What to Do NOW in Case of a Future Banking System Breakdown - 13th Nov 19
Why China is likely to remain the ‘world’s factory’ for some time to come - 13th Nov 19
Gold Price Breaks Down, Waving Good-bye to the 2019 Rally - 12th Nov 19
Fed Can't See the Bubbles Through the Lather - 12th Nov 19
Double 11 Record Sales Signal Strength of Chinese Consumption - 12th Nov 19
Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Oil, Gold and Stocks Investing – Part II - 12th Nov 19
Gold Retest Coming - 12th Nov 19
New Evidence Futures Markets Are Built for Manipulation - 12th Nov 19
Next 5 Year Future Proof Gaming PC Build Spec November 2019 - Ryzen 9 3900x, RTX 2080Ti... - 12th Nov 19
Gold and Silver - The Two Horsemen - 11th Nov 19
Towards a Diverging BRIC Future - 11th Nov 19
Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Stock Market Investing - 11th Nov 19
Illiquidity & Gold And Silver In The End Game - 11th Nov 19
Key Things You Need to Know When Starting a Business - 11th Nov 19
Stock Market Cycles Peaking - 11th Nov 19
Avoid Emotional Investing in Cryptocurrency - 11th Nov 19
Australian Lithium Mines NOT Viable at Current Prices - 10th Nov 19
The 10 Highest Paying Jobs In Oil & Gas - 10th Nov 19
World's Major Gold Miners Target Copper Porphyries - 10th Nov 19
AMAZON NOVEMBER 2019 BARGAIN PRICES - WD My Book 8TB External Drive for £126 - 10th Nov 19
Gold & Silver to Head Dramatically Higher, Mirroring Palladium - 9th Nov 19
How Do YOU Know the Direction of a Market's Larger Trend? - 9th Nov 19
BEST Amazon SMART Scale To Aid Weight Loss for Christmas 2019 - 9th Nov 19
Why Every Investor Should Invest in Water - 8th Nov 19
Wait… Was That a Bullish Silver Reversal? - 8th Nov 19
Gold, Silver and Copper The 3 Metallic Amigos and the Macro Message - 8th Nov 19
Is China locking up Indonesian Nickel? - 8th Nov 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

$4 Billion Golden Oppoerunity

The Marginal Utility of Silver

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2011 Jun 15, 2011 - 03:10 AM GMT

By: Professor_Emeritus

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleI welcome the Internet debate on the question whether the Mint should be opened to gold and silver. The latest contribution by Hugo Salinas Price, entitled Free Coinage of Gold and Silver - Then and Now (www.gold-eagle.com, 9 June 2011), expresses doubts that such a measure, at least insofar as silver is concerned, would work today. One of the arguments he offers is that silver, like all non-monetary metals (but unlike the monetary metal par excellence, gold) has a declining marginal utility. This, he suggests, is an historical change as prior to the 1870's the marginal utility of silver, like that of gold, was constant (or nearly so). In this brief rejoinder I cannot go through all the arguments of his long article, but would like to add my penny of wisdom, such as it is and for whatever it may be worth.


Does silver have a declining marginal utility? I wish I knew! There is but one way to find out: one of the governments must bite the bullet and open its Mint to silver. This would allow all comers to bring forth their bullion and convert it into standard silver coins free of seigniorage charges. If the response were so overwhelming that the Mint would be inundated and forced to close its doors to silver again, it would go a long way to establish evidence for declining marginal utility. It would indicate a panic among owners of silver bullion, prompting them to get rid of their holdings while riddance was good.

If, however, the flow of silver to the Mint was controlled, if the premium on freshly minted silver coins did not precipitously collapse but only showed moderate decline, this would be a strong evidence that the marginal utility of silver, though not constant, showed a record slow decline, second only to that of gold.

To be sure, ultimately, the premium on silver coins would go to zero. But the process would take time, possibly years. The new silver coinage would reach its saturation point where demand for souvenirs and for piggy-bank fillers was satisfied. This, however, would not stop the flow of silver to the Mint. Coins would continue to be minted even after the premium vanished. The new silver coins would go into circulation. People would become confident and start spending their silver coins once they got used to the idea that they could always tap coin circulation for replacement. They could get any number of silver coins on exactly the same terms as they could spend them, that is, without having to pay or sacrifice a premium.

But why would people want to have more silver coined once the hoarding demand for silver coins dried up? Well, that's just the interesting part. People would want to make their purchases of goods and services on the best terms possible. Silver coins would give them the best terms of trade - certainly far better than terms that holders of Federal Reserve notes have. For example, people could negotiate long-term contracts for delivery of grains or crude oil at stable prices if they pay with silver coins, while such contracts were no longer offered to holders of dollar balances.

Gresham's Law has nothing to do with it. People won't stop eating, nor will they want to stop keeping themselves warm in winter just to uphold a badly misunderstood and misquoted economic law attributed to the financial advisor of Queen Elizabeth I. To the extent people will want to eat and keep themselves warm in winter, paper dollars will not drive silver dollars out of circulation. By the way, Gresham's Law, correctly quoted and understood says that worn silver coins will drive full-bodied silver coins out of circulation provided that the government makes worn coins legal tender and forces people to accept them at face value. Absent legal tender provision, people would simply pay for their purchases in silver coins by weight, rather than by tale.

There can be no question that silver coins will start to circulate as soon as the premium on freshly minted coins is reduced to zero, assuming that the Mint is kept open come rain or shine. Already there is pressure on governments to open their Mint to silver. If they haven't done it yet, it's because they know that their banks are insolvent and could not withstand the shock of removal of the prop of legal tender protection for paper money. They hope against hope that their insolvent banks, given time, will be able to heel themselves.

The Chinese government is holding back for one additional reason. It wants to convert as much of its dollar balances into silver as possible before opening its Mint to silver. The Chinese hope to make up for inevitable losses on their dollar account by gains on their silver account. They have to go gingerly about their silver purchases though, not to upset the apple-cart. In waiting, the Chinese take a calculated risk while watching like a hawk what other governments are doing. They certainly don't want to be pre-empted by the Indian or Mexican governments. Early bird gets the worm.

Last year I was in China and I met several officials in influential positions. I came away with the impression that American-trained people in the banking establishment suffer from an overdose of America-worship. While studying at U.S. universities they fell for Keynesianism hook, line and sinker and can't get it out their system. These people laughed me out of the lecture room when I was trying to tell them about the benefit of a metallic monetary system. But I also met others who were totally immune to America-worship. If they were Communist, it certainly didn't stop them from promulgating a new policy letting Chinese peasants acquire as much silver as they would. This policy makes sense only if China has long-term plans to open its Mint to silver. Naturally the plan, if it is to be effective, must be kept secret for the time being.

When you ask them if they are not afraid that America may beat them to opening the Mint to silver before China does, they would answer with an enigmatic smile. They would mutter something to the effect that sometimes you have to take a chance in assuming that thieves who plot to rob you, while they are sharp at stealing, may in fact be dull at poker.

Think about it. The U.S. may have already lost the silver game against China. Perhaps the Chinese kept the Communist façade for one reason only: they wanted to lull the Americans into a false sense of security that they would never ever open the Mint to silver and gold as they have meekly acquiesced in carrying the yoke of the irredeemable paper dollar forever. Japan's example as an American fiefdom does not appeal to the Chinese, but they are not yet ready to bolt from the dollar-feedlot.

The Americans messed it up so badly that it is hard to find words to talk about it. They should have played copycat at the silver chessboard. When the Chinese built up their silver refining capacity, Americans should have done likewise. They did nothing. When the Chinese started encouraging silver imports and made noises about putting embargo on silver exports, Americans should have followed suit. They did nothing. When the Chinese prompted their banks to extend their silver and gold market activities into their rural heartland, Americans should have imitated them. They did nothing. When the Chinese actively started making their silver and gold mining industry competitive, Americans should have removed the fetters from theirs. Again, they did nothing.

The writing is on the wall: Mene tekel upharsin - the dollar has been put on the scale and found wanting. The Chinese will open their Mint to silver in their own good time. It is their destiny. If they don't talk about it, that's because they want to give a chance and a little extra time even to the poorest Chinese peasant to buy a silver coin or two before it's too late.

China has been on a silver standard since time immemorial. F. D. Roosevelt's silver purchasing policy after 1933 forced them off silver. It was one of his hare-brained monetary schemes to foster inflation in the United States. He was completely oblivious of the fact that he was fostering deflation in China, fatally weakening it and making it an easy prey to Japanese imperialism.

There are simply no reliable estimates how much silver has been coined during the long history of Chinese civilization. Most of those coins are still around in mattresses and cookie-jars. Multiply the number of mattresses and cookie-jars by hundreds of millions. You got the idea.

Chinese peasants are suspicious people. They are still afraid that their nominally Communist government has designs to confiscate their well-hidden silver coins that have escaped Mao's Long March as well as his Great Cultural Revolution. Watch for the day when this enormous silver treasure, the accumulation of millennia, will be released. The Chinese government is in no hurry to give the world an object lesson on what the marginal utility of silver is. The best experts on silver in the world are Chinese but they keep their cards close to their chest. They know that in playing poker it is not a good hand you need but a good brain. One that is not contaminated with Keynesian bunk.

Come to Munich, the capital of Bavaria, for the next ten-day course of the New Austrian School of Economics, from August 20-29, 2011, where I shall answer any questions you may have on the opening the Mint to silver. Also on hand will be Sandeep Jaitly to tell you about the marginal utility of silver, as well as about the gold mine of the silver basis, and about the last contango in Washington. For details, consult: nasoe@kt-solutions.de

By Professor Antal E. Fekete,
Intermountain Institute for Science and Applied Mathematics

"GOLD STANDARD UNIVERSITY" - Antal E. Fekete aefekete@iisam.com

For further information please check www.professorfekete.com or inquire at GSUL@t-online.hu .

We are pleased to announce that a new website www.professorfekete.com is now available. It contains e-books, archives, news about GSUL, and material of current interest

Copyright © 2011 Professor Antal E. Fekete
Professor Antal E. Fekete was born and educated in Hungary. He immigrated to Canada in 1956. In addition to teaching in Canada, he worked in the Washington DC office of Congressman W. E. Dannemeyer for five years on monetary and fiscal reform till 1990. He taught as visiting professor of economics at the Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala City in 1996. Since 2001 he has been consulting professor at Sapientia University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In 1996 Professor Fekete won the first prize in the International Currency Essay contest sponsored by Bank Lips Ltd. of Switzerland. He also runs the Gold Standard University on this website.

DISCLAIMER AND CONFLICTS - THE PUBLICATION OF THIS LETTER IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION AND AMUSEMENT ONLY. THE AUTHOR IS NOT SOLICITING ANY ACTION BASED UPON IT, NOR IS HE SUGGESTING THAT IT REPRESENTS, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY SECURITY. THE CONTENT OF THIS LETTER IS DERIVED FROM INFORMATION AND SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, BUT THE AUTHOR MAKES NO REPRESENTATION THAT IT IS COMPLETE OR ERROR-FREE, AND IT SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. IT IS TO BE TAKEN AS THE AUTHORS OPINION AS SHAPED BY HIS EXPERIENCE, RATHER THAN A STATEMENT OF FACTS. THE AUTHOR MAY HAVE INVESTMENT POSITIONS, LONG OR SHORT, IN ANY SECURITIES MENTIONED, WHICH MAY BE CHANGED AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON.

Antal E. Fekete / Professor_Emeritus Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules